Spanx founder, Sara Blakely kept her day job selling fax machines for two years while working on her hosiery company, which has now become a multi-million dollar business. During those two years, Sara used the time she had when she was not working to do research for her company. Her big break came when Oprah chose Spanx as her favourite product of the year and that was when Sara became confident enough to quit her 9-to-5 job, knowing that she will still be able to fully support herself through her entrepreneurial venture.
For some people, they wait for the right moment to quit their current jobs to pursue entrepreneurship, while others just jump right in and start working on their business full-time.
So, how do you decide when it is the right time to give up a steady paycheck to be a full-time entrepreneur? Here are some tips to help you determine whether or not you are ready to make the switch.
- Do your research
Do you have a business idea that is different from what is being offered out there? Is it a practical idea that solves a problem? It is important to do your research to see whether there is a market for your products or services and to determine the value of your business. You can start by using search engines to get more information on your business idea as well as find out the kind of skills that you would need to acquire to help you run a business. In addition, do not be afraid to ask people you know – friends, family members and former colleagues for their opinions on areas of business that you may not be familiar with. Perhaps, a walk around the neighborhood can do you good and help you find some sort of inspiration for your business.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
If you are unsure whether your business will work out, try pursuing it part-time at first. This also allows you to test the waters to see whether you are passionate enough to run the business full-time. Someone I know left his comfortable job in digital marketing to focus on his gadget business, only to find out that he did not understand how certain things work when it comes to running a business. He failed to recognize that distribution is an important part of the business and did not factor in the thin profit margin, which resulted in a serious overbuy. Eventually, he had to give up on his business venture and found another full-time position in digital marketing. Some people get too consumed by their “passion” that they get oblivious to other more important things that matter.
- Sort out your finances
When you start a business, there is a possibility that you will need to use your own money to fund your business, especially in the first few years. It may also take a while before you can pay yourself back.
It is also important for married men to know that as breadwinners of the family, they need to take extra measures to ensure that they can fully support their families, or else the financial stress may get the best of them. If this happens, it will be very difficult for them to keep a positive mindset needed to focus on their business.
The transition from working at a stable full-time job to become an entrepreneur with an uncertain future is not easy. There are many factors that have to be taken into consideration such as your emotional well-being and physical capability, mainly because it takes a lot of commitment, long hours and hard work to be a successful entrepreneur. A positive attitude comes a long way when you are hustling and trying to grow your business. Once you know that you can handle these aspects of life, then maybe it is time for you to take a leap of faith and work on your business full-time!
Check out this video where successful entrepreneur, Mark Cuban talks about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.